Thursday, June 4, 2015

Wild About Word Walls!

Teachers are wild about Word Walls for good reason - they work!  Everyone is affected by what they see and Word Walls serve that very purpose.  Students can literally read the room with eye-catching, engaging Word Walls.  Furthermore, Word Walls add to a best practice, print-rich environment that is a critical component of emerging literacy.

What exactly is a Word Wall?

A Word Wall is a collection of related words, which are displayed on a wall or bulletin board for visual reference when reading, writing, or speaking.  The ideal Word Wall is a teacher AND student-created artifact - an interactive, work-in-progress exhibit that is added to weekly or even daily.  There are many types of Word Walls specific to the ELA classroom, such as Sight Word Walls, Literature Based Word Walls, Seasonal Word Walls, Writing Word Walls, Spelling Word Walls, Parts of Speech Word Walls, Phonics/Phonemic Word Walls, Content Area Word Walls, and Unit/Chapter Word Walls.


10 Reasons to be Wild About Word Walls…

Word Walls support the teaching of key words and subject-specific terminology.
Word Walls promote independence in reading and writing by building vocabulary support.
Word Walls are a visual daily reference, as students retain what they see.
Word Walls are a high-yield strategy that can be used across the curriculum.
Word Walls create a classroom that is a print-rich environment.
Word walls encourage student participation and engagement.
Word Walls are an interactive reference tool that can be used daily in reading, writing, and speaking.
Word Walls can easily replace boring, tedious worksheets or packets.
Word Walls can be used for quick progress monitoring and assessment.
Word Walls are extremely effective for English Language Learners.



WORDS of Advice for Effective Word Walls

Print Word Wall Cards on card stock.
Ideally print in color, but grayscale will work too.
If you laminate your Word Wall cards, they will last for years.
Refer to Word Walls in your daily instruction, and encourage students to do so as well when reading, writing, or speaking.
• Word Walls are a work in progress and should be a growing student-created artifact.  Have your students add to the working Working Walls in your classroom on a weekly or even daily basis.


For ELA Word Wall Products, visit my store at TeachersPayTeachers:


Friday, May 29, 2015

Sensational Teen and Tween Summer Reads

As we all fondly recall, summer vacation is the ultimate!  Staying up late into the night, basking in the golden sun, slurping up frothy ice cream concoctions, and yes - hopefully reading a good book or two or three...or three in one day.  And why not?  It's summer, after all.

Here is a list of twelve of my fave summer reads for tweens and teens.  The list includes some classics and some contemporary, depending on personal choice.  Either way, tweens/teens will have a blast getting their read on!!!



Kimberly's 2015 Summer Reading List for Tweens and Teens


1) The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky

2) Unbroken - Laura Hillenbrand

3) The House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros

4) The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

5) Monster - Walter Dean Myers

6) Divergent - Veronica Roth

7) The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton

8) The Best of Roald Dahl - Roald Dahl

9) If I Stay - Gayle Forman

10) The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger

11) Maximum Ride - James Patterson

12) Girl Online - Zoe Sugg


HAPPY READING!!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Buon Appetito Now Available by Schoolwide

Buon Appetito, a multicultural celebration food book that supports early literacy for the emergent reader, is now available by Schoolwide, Inc.

Synopsis:  Children come from all around the world, and so do foods. Come celebrate a world-traveling feast with the children of Signora Fina's class. As each student presents a type of food from a different country, you'll think about the foods you like to eat–and you may get a bit hungry, too!  Although Buon Appetito is written with the ELL student in mind, its universal message of inclusion and celebration can be enjoyed by any child.





If you are not familiar with Schoolwide, check out their website at http://www.schoolwide.com/zing where they are opening the door to a world of teaching and learning possibilities with Zing, the new, premier digital library.

Zing opens the door to a world of teaching and learning possibilities by providing access to thousands of fiction and nonfiction eBooks and short digital texts (articles, essays, poems, and primary sources) in English and Spanish.  Additionally, Zing's unmatched selection of authentic texts includes popular award-winning authors and titles from a vast array of publishers.

The future of reading is here!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

It's Teacher Appreciation Week!

We've all seen the bumper sticker: If you can read this, thank a teacher!  The adage may be trite, but there is truth behind it.  

By the time high school graduation rolls around, we've had our share of competent teachers and maybe even a couple bad apples.  But there is always that special teacher who truly did make a difference.  He or she was the one who challenged you, made you see the world a certain way, and in the end changed your soul.  You may have never thanked that special teacher, but you can still show appreciation for the educators who work so tirelessly to make the world a better place.  

Just a simple handwritten note is the most special thing you can do show your gratitude.  I keep all my notes from students and parents over the years in a tattered old file folder that I had started my first year of teaching.  When I'm having a bad day or in need of a speedy attitude adjustment, I read a couple of letters.  The words are so precious and honest; they never fail to reenergize my spirit and remind me of why I do what I do.  

So thank a teacher this week and tell them they are appreciated.  It will mean the world!  

"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." - Albert Einstein




In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, please visit my store-wide sale at Teachers Pay Teachers.  



125 × 125

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Thank You, Coffee County Middle School

I had a fabulous time last night at Authors' Night at Coffee County Middle School in Manchester, TN.  The students were ebullient and full of questions about how to become a writer.  It was such an inspiration.  Thank you, Coffee County Middle School!




For more information on Kimberly Dana Author Events, please visit my website at http://kimberlydana.com/author_visits_19.html

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Help Them Do Their Best on the Test!

Standardized Testing is:

A) Stressful
B) Necessary
C) Something students can succeed on
D) All of the above

Correct Answer - D!



It's that time of year again!  Standardized testing is just around the corner, meaning the anxiety at most educational institutions is off-the-charts!  Never before has there been so much pressure to perform well, as standardized testing determines school ratings, student funding, and a child's classroom placement.  To offset test-taking anxiety, it is paramount we prepare our students with knowledge, skills, and guaranteed-to-succeed test-taking strategies.


For classroom activities and lessons that use humor and positive reinforcement for maximum buy-in, visit my store at TeachersPayTeachers:



Sunday, April 12, 2015

Get Your D.E.A.R. On!!!

D.E.A.R. is an educational acronym that stands for Drop Everything and Read.  It’s much frothier than the dated S.S.R. – Silent Sustained Reading, which sounds a bit torturous to even the most avid reader.



April 12th is the official National D.E.A.R Day.  It is the birthday of the beloved author Beverly Cleary who created one of my all-time favorite childhood characters – Ramona Quimby.  On National D.E.A.R. Day, families are encouraged to read together while promoting books as an integral part of daily life.

So how will you be celebrating D.E.A.R. Day?  Fun activities to do with family, friends, or an impassioned book club include making bookmarks, reading favorite passages, and acting out scenes.  Character charades, anyone?  While April 12th is official D.E.A.R. day, every day is a great day to Drop Everything and Read!  So – drop those agonizing bills, take a break from Facebook, and get your read on!

For classroom activities and lessons corresponding to D.E.A.R., visit my store at TeachersPayTeachers: